According to Bloomberg, Toyota has been ordered by Texas Judge T. John Ward no to destroy any of its crash data, and research projects related to product liability or crashworthiness. The temporary restraining order, which is in effect until after a October 7 hearing (at which it will be determine if the order should be extended), stems from allegations from former Toyota lawyer Dimitrios Biller that the Japanese automaker withheld evidence in over 300 rollover lawsuits. Ward wrote of his decision "The court finds an immediate threat of irreparable harm in that, under the allegations, a threat exists that evidence material to this case would be destroyed or altered."

As is typical of most companies being sued for what could amount to hundreds of millions of dollars, Toyota isn't commenting for the most part. Toyota spokesman Mike Michels only says that the company feels it acted appropriately in the lawsuits. While Biller's suit is big in its own right, there is a lot at stake if the former Toyota attorney wins the suit. Lawyers are already looking to reopen cases which were previously settled or rejected for lack of evidence. Dallas area lawyer Todd Tracey has asked Ward to reopen several cases which were either settled or rejected, and there are likely other lawyers and injury victims lining up to do the same.

[Source: Bloomberg]